PIAAC Report – Health and Social Outcomes

The federal government and the Council of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC) committed to a series of thematic reports based on the 2012 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

Recently I received a copy of “The Health Dimensions of Adult Skills in Canada”. The report looks at how literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments skills influence health and social outcomes. (PIAAC 2012 Health and Social Dimensions Canada – Executive Summary and PIAAC 2012 Health and Social Dimensions Canada)

The key findings are:

  • Health and social outcomes are unevenly distributed within Canada.
  • Higher skills are associated with better health and social outcomes.
  • Skills are associated with health and social outcomes independently of education.
  • Indigenous peoples tend to report poorer outcomes—but skills may narrow some gaps.
  • Immigrants’ outcomes vary with length of residence in Canada.
  • Skills are not enough to show an improvement in health and social outcomes for unemployed Canadians, the unemployed with higher skills actually show a decline in self-reported health.
  • More research is needed on the skills, health and social outcomes of workers in precarious employment.

While many of these findings will not surprise those working in the literacy field, having the evidence from this report will help better make the case of why literacy matters to policy makers.

You can read this report and others at piaac.ca.

About Brigid Hayes

Brigid Hayes has developed an expertise in learning that spans over 30 years as a senior government policy advisor and program manager and partnership developer; director of labour for a national business/labour skills centre and as an independent consultant. Her knowledge of and experience in workplace literacy and learning has contributed to her recognition as an expert in this field, and she has undertaken significant activities to both help promote and enhance literacy and lifelong learning. Brigid works as an independent consultant and expert advisor on learning, literacy, and work. She has successfully developed a strategic planning and policy development practice involving workplace literacy, essential skills, partnership development, research, and evaluation.
This entry was posted in Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Policy, CMEC, Employment and Social Development Canada, ESDC, Federal Government and Literacy, International Literacy Surveys, Literacy and Essential Skills, PIAAC. Bookmark the permalink.

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